the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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Since You've Been Gone

All Gone

To everyone who now has Kelly Clarkson stuck in your head, you're welcome. (I know what it is you see, for it is in my mind also.)

Thanks largely to last year's 365 project, I posted a record 382 entries here on the old blog in 2012. So it feels strange that this is only my third post for 2013--and I missed February entirely!

What the heck happened to me? Life!

  • The first half of January was dominated by CodeMash and the eight-hour Django tutorial that I helped put on.
  • Mid-January through mid-March were consumed by preparations for the half-day web app security tutorial that I presented at PyCon.
  • I've also been crazy-busy preparing for and running our company's annual Hack Day event. We did a whole secret agent theme, going so far as to produce some extremely low-budget but nonetheless epic video segments in the style of the Bond films. Our audio team even made us a theme song, which I'm not ashamed to admit I enjoyed playing on a loop on my phone while I walked around the office in a tuxedo during the event.
  • I've been building lots of Legos with my daughter! She rocks the Lego Friends sets on her own, and helps me with my Star Wars and Lord of the Rings sets.
  • Speaking of Lego Lord of the Rings, I kind of got hooked playing the Xbox version. So good...
  • I got a RaspberryPi at PyCon! So the kiddo and I have built a case for it out of her spare Legos, and I've shown her a little bit of Python and Scratch. Now we need to find a project, because she's really excited about building something with it. (Thanks, PyCon!)
  • I made a little URL shortener for my pirn.at domain before I realized that bit.ly does it all for free and then some. That's okay. It gave me a chance to learn about Flask. I'll probably write a little bit more about it at some point later.
  • I made a little RSS-to-Twitter gizmo to automatically tweet links to my blog, using my pirn.at shortener for links. I'll probably write a little bit about it too.
  • I got all excited at PyCon and made PythonIpsum, a lorem ipsum generator with a Python-flavored vocabulary. Patches welcome!
  • I've been bitten by the site refresh bug and have started tinkering on a responsive-ish layout so that this place won't look so daft on a phone.
  • I've got a photography backlog from CodeMash and PyCon that I hope to address shortly. And then I want to get back to shooting regularly (though I've got a case of gear fever, so right now I'm mostly obsessing about which lens I'd like to pick up).
  • The kiddo and I have been watching Clone Wars and Dr. Who together. She's been really enjoying watching them with me, and I've really enjoyed helping to counter the influence of the Princess Industrial Complex.

In short--death by bullet points! Hopefully with the big conference season behind me, I'll get back into the swing of things shortly and won't be quite so much of a stranger here.

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355/365: Story Time with Wilfred

355/365: Story Time with Wilfred

So people usually try to do something fun and memorable for our monthly Tech All-Hands meetings at work, but it'll be a long time before anything rivals Zac Paladino, dressed as Wilfred, wearing a "Naughty/Nice" cap (turned to "naughty", of course), sitting by the fire, calmly reading the epically hilarious composition, "The Night Before Hack Day".

Milestone alert! 10 days to go! Ten! TEN!!!

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306/365: Major Award

306/365: Major Award

Liz thinks she's really funny. During the run-up to the Chairman's Awards, whenever I had to explain why I had to reschedule a haircut, or what occasion demanded that I obtain a suit that fit, I cut the explanation short by saying that I was a finalist for "a major award." So Liz (again, thinking she's really funny) made sure that, win or lose, I would at least end up with "a major award," and now I have a mini replica leg lamp in my cubicle.

59 days to go!

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305/365: Wonder Women

305/365: Wonder Women

My fabulous coworkers Julie Cousins and Mike Lampa dressed as Wonder Woman for the annual Halloween costume contest at American Greetings, each of them representing a different era in a "then and now" theme. Here we find our heroines comparing different versions of their theme song as they prepare for the contest.

In keeping with recent trends, I shot a lot of photos today that I am really proud of, but this was far and away my favorite. More should follow in the coming days as I get them tagged and edited; they'll eventually end up in a set on Flickr.

60 super days to go! (At this point, every day feels like a milestone!)

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300/365: Saying Goodbye

300/365: Saying Goodbye

Day 300 was a bittersweet experience for me. I was proud to have reached this milestone in the 365 project, glad to have an awesome lens to practice with, happy to see friends and coworkers, but sad that we have to let Karen go as she moves on to exciting new opportunities. I got a lot of great shots of smiles and fun and assorted shenanigans, but this is really the one that captured the mood as the party began to thin down.

But it feels really, really good to type... 65 days to go.

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291/365: Always a Bridesmaid

291/365: Always a Bridesmaid

Well, we didn't win. But we had fun anyway. And we totally had a better after-party (dinner at the Flying Fig, drinks at the back room at Velvet Tango Room).

Here, shortly after our defeat, Brian points out that he's now 0-for-3 as a Chairman's Award finalist. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride...

74 more days left to go.

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290/365: Sharp Dressed

290/365: Sharp Dressed

The second day of Chairman's Award festivities included a luncheon and then a cocktail party at the Cleveland Aquarium followed by a formal banquet. I naturally brought the new 35mm f1.4 lens to put it through its paces, and if I had any doubts about it, they were erased by the end of the night. It really, truly is the king of environmental portraiture, allowing tremendous success even hand-held in low light. I got so many pleasing results that wading through them was seriously hard work.

Of course, here the light was more than adequate--perfect low-angle sunset light through the windows at the atrium outside the Aquarium. And a photogenic subject--Cory making the rest of us look poorly-dressed--helps too.

75 days to go...

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289/365: Getting the Shot

289/365: Getting the Shot

The festivities surrounding the Chairman's Awards are upon us this week, which means lots of opportunities for fun photos as all the finalists get together to celebrate before the big day.

Last night we partied at the Corner Alley, where we enjoyed dinner, drinks, bowling, and billiards. I shot a lot of photos that turned out well, but this one of Brian Ketler going the extra distance to make a shot at the pool table was far and away my favorite.

I'll be uploading the rest of the set as I get time this week but it may take a while as my schedule is pretty crazy.

76 days to go!

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